Footloose Walking Club

Minutes of the 8th AGM held, at the Netherwood Hotel, on 10th Dec. 2017


1.      The Chairman welcomed everyone to the 8th Footloose AGM, for which the Club had returned to the Netherwood, a venue last visited when Simon Hughes was Chairman.


2.      Apologies had been received from the following people who were unable to attend the meeting: Helen Merrell, Ann Strange, Sarah Walker, Isobel Williamson, and Mena Lawrence.


3.       Approval for the Minutes of the 2016 AGM was proposed by Derwent Donaldson and several members of the Club and seconded by Enid Cockshott and John Davies


4.      The Chairman then moved on to deal with matters arising from the last AGM and explained:

At the last meeting it was noted that the Club had not joined the YHA but could rejoin if necessary. Footloose has re- joined the YHA and this facility has been used by the Club.

It was proposed that the Club should publish a contact list. This has now been done. This year’s membership disclaimer form has been amended to allow members who prefer not to have their details included in the contact list to do so. (To opt out the members should simply tick the boxes at the foot of the form.)

Linda Marshal, the club’s founder has not taken up the Committee’s offer of the option to rejoin the club

5.      Chairman’s report: the Chairman said that 2017 was the year of the, “Noughties,” for the club as members had big birthdays.  It had also been a good year for the club.  Notable events this year included:  two groups visiting Greece, a long weekend in Alnwick (organised by Deb Middleton), Norman’s Alpine Trek, 2 weekends in hostels (Skiddaw organised by Sarah Walker, and Patterdale by Jean Savage), a well attended ceilidh, the summer social, a kayaking adventure, and a full walks programme. Several of the walks were followed by meals in local pubs, and this was felt to be a good thing although we did not need a meal at the end of every walk. Additionally the club has seen the launch of a cycling programme.  The Chairman had also heard reports of some skinny dipping but members of the floor corrected his terminology, and informed him that it was more correctly described by the term, “Wild Swimming.” 

In addition to these successful events the Club’s membership continued to increase.

The Chairman offered his thanks to all those who had led walks during the year and to the members of the committee, especially to the Spice Girls (Sarah Walker, Sue Brearley, and Deb Middleton) who had organised the Ceilidh, the AGM, and the weekend in Alnwick.

6.      Treasurer’s report and Membership:  Copies of the accounts were provided to members at the meeting. The Treasurer reported that they showed the deposits and money paid for the Alnwick weekend, both receipts and disbursements, and the receipts and payments for the Ceilidh. The charges by the YHA for the Alnwick trip were less than expected and the Ceilidh made a small profit. Some of the surplus funds had been spent on wine which would be served at the meal following the AGM. The Treasurer informed the members that once the wine ran out they would have to dip into their own pockets if they wanted further refreshments.

The Treasurer also reported the Club would make a donation of £200 to Mountain rescue and that the Club’s insurance cost £79.80.

Membership stood at 82 including the 2 life members.

The Treasurer said that the Club’s insurance could be extended to cover cycling but cycling activities would have to be covered by a generic risk assessment.

John Lee reported that he had researched a suitable assessment but it indicated that each member of the cycling Club would require individual 3rd party insurance. The Chairman concluded that this would have to be followed up by the committee.

The Treasurer resumed his report and informed the meeting that although there had been guest walkers taking walks on a trial basis, there had been very few disclaimer forms completed and forwarded to him. He asked that walk leaders should carry blank disclaimers of walks and ensure that they were properly completed, and forwarded to him.

There were no questions on the accounts. 

7.       Website and incident log: John Lee informed the members that the web site was shared with Gleaston Village. The bill for the website is paid twice a year, and the village pays the first instalment and the club pays the second.  The second payment was now due and would be made. Given this arrangement and the fact that John had the password and therefore control of both sites it appeared that the club was stuck with him in his current role.

John reminded members that the walks programme was occasionally adjusted and that as a result the copy initially circulated by him might be out of date. However, he said that he always updates the programme on the web site when there are changes and members could always obtain up to date information from this source.

John also informed the members that he had printed off a blank walks programme for the next quarter, which he would circulate after the meeting.   He asked members to fill in the details of walks which they wished to lead in the spaces provided.  He asked for a prompt response as he will be on holiday shortly.

John reported that there was 1 cycling event per month, and that he would like to produce a quarterly cycling programme. For the moment it was being organised on a monthly basis only.

Walks leaders are expected to report to John following each walk, to provide him with the number of people attending the walk, and details of any incidents that occur. When John attends a walk he collects the details himself but where he did not attend some leaders have not provided a report as requested. John said that details of numbers and incidents were important and asked that he be kept informed. 

John informed the members that the members leaflet on the website had been amended to include a note about cycling, and that there was now a separate page for cycling events.

8.      Committee Elections. The Chairman said that this year some members of the Committee had come to the end of their term of office and would depart and some would restand. He proposed that Norman French continue as Treasurer. This proposal was seconded widely by a show of hands with no reservations by the members at the meeting.  Sue Brearley had been co-opted to the committee 2 years ago. The Chairman proposed she remain a member, and this too was widely seconded with no reservations by the members at the meeting.  Derwent Donaldson had offered to join the committee and the Chairman proposed him as a member. This proposal was widely seconded with no reservations.

The Chairman explained that Heather Park had withdrawn her candidature for Chairman of the Club.  He explained that he had not come to the end of his term and that he could therefore remain in post for a further year.  He informed the meeting that he wished to remain in post until the summer social when he proposed Derwent Donaldson would assume the role of Chairman.  In the meantime the Chairman would remain in post.  The Chairman put this proposal to the meeting, and it was widely accepted by a show of hands and no reservations by the members.

9.       Future club events:

The Chairman said he intended to organise a Committee Meeting in January to organise further events for 2018. In the meantime the following events were being organised:

Phil Walker was arranging a walking holiday in Crete. The holiday was fully booked and Phil was collecting money from the participants.

Norman French would be organising his usual Trek

There would be a weekend holiday in September, and York was a proposed venue, although further details would need to be worked out.

The Chairman said there would be a summer social, and hoped that the Celidh would be repeated.

He also hoped there would be further weekends with the YHA

The next AGM would be in December 2018. It had been suggested the Club should have the AGM in the summer, but the club’s accounts ran from January to December and this was why the AGM remained in December.

10.   AOB: The Chairman stressed the need for more walk leaders, and told the members that if there was anyone who felt they would like to lead a walk but did not feel competent the club would provide mentoring. Members should contact Tony Mayo, Cliff Etherden, or Norman.

The Chairman informed the meeting that some walks with larger numbers were difficult to manage and that it was probably desirable in the summer for the club to put on two walks, one hard one and one easier one, but he felt there was a shortage of leaders for such walks. The club needs more folk to lead walks.

11.   Any Questions: In answer to a question about whether Heather Park would continue on the Committee, the Chairman said she informed him that she was withdrawing for personal reasons, and that the Committee had accepted her resignation without question. She had been a wonderful servant to the Club, and he was sure we would fully support her when she comes back.


12.   The meeting closed a 15:43